The Mexican government already announced that it would retaliate for Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum by imposing their own tariffs on American pork, but now we have more specific numbers.
Industry officials who've been briefed by the Mexican government shared the details with Reuters yesterday evening.
“It’s a 20 percent (tariff) on legs and shoulders, fresh and frozen ... with bones and without bones,” said Heriberto Hernandez, president of Mexico’s leading pork producers association OPORPA, following a briefing earlier on Monday with Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and his team.
Hernandez said he supported the Mexican government’s decision and does not expect it to cause pork prices in Mexico to rise because “there are many alternatives” to U.S. suppliers. [...]
Last year, Mexico imported nearly 650,000 tonnes of pork legs and shoulders worth an estimated $1.07 billion, according to government data.
Mexico is the largest export market for American pork and pork legs and shoulders account for at least 90 percent of exports to Mexico. The value of that market is about to drop by at least 20 percent if it's not replaced entirely by the pork industry in other countries.
This isn't just a matter of American agriculture becoming too expensive for people in other countries to buy. It's possible American agriculture will permanently lose market share as foreign producers step up to fill the void created by Trump's trade war.
Trump is picking fights with everyone else, but they aren't fighting each other. Other countries are signing new trade deals without the United States. Trump's folly is their gain.
Mexico's tariffs on pork and other products will go into effect tomorrow.